There are a handful of things that always feel like they take way longer than anything else in life: the time between your favorite show's finale and the next season's premiere, the month of January, and, unfortunately, the time it takes to grow out your hair when you hate your new haircut (or just really wish it were longer).
While the exact length of time for the latter varies from person to person — and depends on a wide range of factors, like your overall health, age, diet, and genetics — the American Academy of Dermatology reports that, on average, you can expect your hair to grow up to six inches a year. If you break it down, that's about half an inch per month. It might not seem like much, but there are a few steps you can take to help rev up growth.
First, know that there is no one-size-fits-all solution and instead focus on what you can control. Minimize excess brushing to avoid hair breakage, give yourself a scalp massage to improve circulation and stimulate hair follicles, and consider the foods you eat. "Raw fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and healthy fats are superfoods for hair growth," hairstylist Christine Neos previously told POPSUGAR. "These are wholesome foods providing the most nutrition for your body, surplussing in the proper nutrition for healthy, long hair."
According to dermatologist Timm Golueke, MD, the antioxidants in vitamin E can also help improve circulation throughout your body, so consider applying it topically on your scalp before bed to stimulate blood flow and growth. And of course, if you think your hair is growing at a less-than-normal rate, talk to your dermatologist about any potential health concerns so they can help find the most optimal solution for you.